Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Senate leaders have reversed course and decided to stage showdown votes on rival Democratic and Republican plans for extending broad tax cuts next year that will otherwise expire in January.
The Senate planned to hold back to back roll calls later Wednesday, with each bill requiring just a simple majority for passage. Until now, the Senate had planned to vote only on the Democratic bill under rules requiring 60 votes for it to prevail -- a number Democrats would not be able to reach.
There are 51 Democrats and two independents who usually support them. A defeat of the Democratic bill would be an embarrassment to party leaders.
There are 47 Republicans in the Senate, and their measure seems certain to fail.